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California Game Restrictions Bill Stalls Before Passing Committee

California Game Restrictions Bill Stalls Before Passing Committee

May 5, 2005 | By Nich Maragos

Though a recent bill aimed at violent video games introduced into the California legislature was similar to the one currently moving up in the Illinois Senate, it initially met with opposite fate: Leland Yee's AB450 bill at first failed in committee before making it to the general California assembly, failing to reach the six votes needed.

However, following the final vote of an abstainee, Jerome Horton from Los Angeles County, the bill was passed on a 6-4 vote from the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media, after the committee took it up for reconsideration.

The bill requires warning labels to be placed on violent games. Customers purchasing games with the label would be required to show ID; retailers who either did not check for ID or did not show the labels would have been liable for a $1,000 fine per infraction. The strong punishment written into the bill were a result of a previous effort by Assemblyman Yee to limit sales of violent games, the failure of which Yee believed to be due to a lack of consequences.

In response to the initial failure to progress, Marie Sylla, Director of Government Relations & Counsel for the IEMA (Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association), commented: "Retailers are making their best efforts to ensure that their stores are complying with their policy of carding for "Mature" rated games and would like to be given the same opportunity as the movie theater owners and music retailers." No further comment has yet been made following the bill's passing to the assembly.

[UPDATE: 3.17pm PST - story updated following abstainee vote.]

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